New Zealand's unsecured wi-fi mapped out

Last updated 13:06 29/05/2013
Newtown wi-fi map
NEWTOWN'S NETWORKS: NetSafe's map of Newtown's wireless internet. Red means an open network, orange means a broken network, grey means OK security, and green means state-of-the-art security.

Relevant offers

Digital Living

Osmo is a gadget that can make your videos look professional How much digital media is OK for kids? Paper and pen is sometimes better than apps Computer smarter than humans when telling Asian faces apart Computer 'judge' predicts court findings How to protect your home network Australian photographer invents 'SpudCamera' and takes selfie with it Denial of cyber attack affecting Twitter, Reddit, Paypal and Spotify PayPal, Twitter, Spofiy and other sites disrupted by cyber attacks Cyber attacks disrupt Twitter, Spotify, other sites on US East Coast

You don't need to go far in Wellington's Newtown suburb to tap into someone else's wireless internet, with up to 55 properties broadcasting without any protection.

NetSafe has been out "wardriving" in suburbs in Wellington, Dunedin, and Auckland, to see which place had the best wireless security.

Wardriving involves travelling around with a wireless device checking security.

North Dunedin was the most secure, followed by Wellington, then Auckland.

NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker said the risk of unsecured wireless internet went beyond people using up bandwidths to download.

"By leaving a router unsecured or poorly protected it allows hackers to access all the devices on the network.

"People should also bear in mind that if they connect their computer, smartphone or tablet to public wi-fi hotspots, they are potentially sharing their information with others on that network.

"Free wi-fi is not the place to bank online, buy things, or read sensitive emails."

In Newtown, it picked up 2643 wireless signals.

Of those, 55 were open, which in theory meant they were unprotected. However, NetSafe noted some may still need further authentication.

Ninety-six had "broken" encryption, 1792 had "OK" encryption, and 15 were unknown.

In Newtown, 685 - or 25.9 per cent of the 2643 - wireless connections had state-of-the-art security.

On top of having "WPA2" security, NetSafe recommends people use strong passwords, update everything, secure wireless networks, back up files, and think before clicking on anything.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post


Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content